News / Ottawa

Tracking app not enough for search warrant: Police

Ottawa police say a mobile app that can track a stolen electronic device is not enough to go knocking on someone’s door after an Ottawa woman used one to locate her stolen laptop.

Jennifer Butson used an app called Find My iPhone to track down her MacBook Air, which was stolen from her home during a break-in on Tuesday.

Using GPS data, the app notified Butson of the laptop’s whereabouts.

But Sgt. James McGarry said the app alone is not enough to get a search warrant.

“Just because an app says that this is the location of where a laptop is or where a device is, it doesn’t provide us with the full picture,” said McGarry.

Police still have to conduct their own investigation and examine the break and enter scene for evidence.

Friends and strangers have offered to go with Butson to retrieve the laptop, but she said it wasn't a good idea.

“I am worried that they'll come back, or keep doing it to other people, but it's mostly an issue of feeling unsafe in an otherwise wonderful neighbourhood,” she said.

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